Just when you thought Melbourne had hit capacity for specialty coffee houses doused with a sprinkling of street art, you’d be wrong. It’s heading out to the burbs, and Lower Templestowe is the next hip spot.
This north-eastern suburb has won the cafe jackpot with a new recruit, Riddik. This all-day and all-night eatery is the brainchild of Chef Adam Robins, siblings George Kelzi and Michelle Wagner and Michelle’s husband Andrew. Having worked together at Penny House and 7 Grams, the team knew a good venue when they saw it. George and Michelle grew up nearby in Bulleen, so a local’s edge was never far from their plans. Taking over a great empty space with high ceilings and plenty of space for street art (like the enormous floor to roof mural by European artist, Tarek), they’ve brought a hint of the inner city to the burbs.
It all starts with good coffee and Code Black espresso is their pick of poison by day and helps along a few espresso martinis by night. And if it’s an extra-hot decaf skinny latte you’re after, so be it. “We’re not here to judge,” Adam said. “If that’s what you like then that’s what we’ll make you. I think there’s a little too much ego in the coffee scene right now.”
The all-day menu is refreshingly about what people actually like, not what’s trending. It seems pretty simple but damn does it taste good. Of his food philosophy, Adam sais, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… but also just tweak it a little to keep life interesting.”
The result: eggs benedict SIX ways (sweet soy-braised pork belly benny anyone?), coffee-rubbed beef sliders and brandy-infused, fried camembert – it’s ok if you need a moment. One staple that Adam swears by is smashed peas – currently on the menu with house-cured bacon, bourbon jam and Persian feta. As things cool down a bit, expect to see it served with lamb sweetbreads and alongside hearty roasted pumpkin. Riddik is run by families, for families, so it’s as good an option to take the little tykes for a cheeky Saturday morning pancake as it is for a hungover Sunday brunch. They’re not beyond smashed avo either, no matter the sacrifice.
“It’ll be a sad day if millennials give up smashed avo just for something as silly as their first house.”
Our thoughts, exactly.